|Publication number||US8002139 B1|
|Application number||US 11/117,284|
|Publication date||Aug 23, 2011|
|Priority date||Apr 19, 2005|
|Publication number||11117284, 117284, US 8002139 B1, US 8002139B1, US-B1-8002139, US8002139 B1, US8002139B1|
|Inventors||William C. Batten, Bruce W. Kyles|
|Original Assignee||Thermaco, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (37), Classifications (3), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
(1) Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to a method of joining a plastic tube to another tube, and, in a particular embodiment, to a method of joining a baffle comprising a plastic tube to a tank also having a tube.
(2) Description of the Prior Art
Joining a pair of concentric metallic tubes to form a seal between the tubes is known. One method of joining such tubes includes inserting an elastomeric sleeve within the inner tube and compressing it axially. The elastomeric sleeve expands radially against the inner tube and, if enough compressive force is applied, the sleeve deforms the inner tube so it engages the outer tube. An annularly enlarged portion of the tubes results from a resulting radial force having been applied from within the tubes. This annularly enlarged portion forms a joint between the tubes.
The ends of tubes such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are also often joined in male/female fashion. However, PVC pipes are often joined with PVC glue or cement, a composition including PVC resin. Other thermoplastic materials such as polyethylene and polyurethane are not as susceptible to gluing or cementing. Thus, where it is desirable to join a polyethylene or polyurethane tubular member to another tube, welding the parts together is often necessary. This process may be labor intensive and time consuming.
Thus, there remains a need for a new method of joining a thermoplastic tube to another tube. Specifically, where the thermoplastic tube is a polyethylene or polyurethane part of a grease separator tank baffle, a new method of joining the baffle to the tank is needed.
The present invention solves one or more of these needs in the art by providing a method of joining a thermoplastic tube to another tube comprising: orienting a thermoplastic tube within an outer tube; positioning a malleable band within the thermoplastic tube; and expanding the malleable band radially until a seal is formed between the thermoplastic tube and the outer tube.
One aspect of the present invention is to provide a method of joining an interior baffle to a tank for a grease separator including: configuring a housing having a plastic tube extending outwardly from a side of the housing. A baffle is inserted into the tank so that a plastic tube of the baffle is disposed within a tube of the tank, and a malleable band is inserted in the plastic tube of the baffle. A tool having an elastomeric sleeve is inserted into the plastic tube of the baffle such that the elastomeric sleeve is within the malleable band in the plastic tube. The tool is operated to compress the elastomeric sleeve axially to expand the elastomeric sleeve radially and force the malleable band radially outward until the plastic tube of the baffle contacts the tube of the housing and forms a watertight seal between the tubes.
Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a method of joining substantially concentrically disposed plastic tubes comprising expanding a malleable band within an inner tube to form a seal between it and an outer tube.
In one embodiment, the present invention provides a tank having a tank housing and a rotomolded, thermoplastic baffle, the baffle comprising a tube and a malleable band positioned within the tube, the baffle positioned in relation to the tank housing to form a watertight seal between a the tube of the baffle and a tubular portion of the tank housing.
Yet another aspect is to provide a substantially dog bone shaped assembly comprising first and second rotomolded, polyethylene or polyurethane parts, each part having a tubular portion, the tubular portion of the first part extending within the tubular portion of the second part, the assembly further comprising a malleable band disposed within and deforming the tubular portion of the first part to form a joint with the tubular portion of the second part.
These and other aspects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art after a reading of the following description of the preferred embodiment when considered with the drawings.
The illustrations and descriptions are for the purpose of describing an embodiment of the invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the invention defined by the claims is capable of various and numerous embodiments.
While in the preferred embodiment of the invention, an elastomeric sleeve 54 is employed to expand the malleable band, any hand or power tool capable of exerting a radial force can be used. For example an expandable ring outside of a pneumatic or hydraulic chamber in communication with a pressurized gas or fluid source may be used to expand the malleable band. In the alternative, the gas or hydraulic chamber may flexibly constructed be to be inserted within the malleable band and expanded with pressurized gas or fluid. In addition, an electric motor or solenoids powering a radial expansion of a ring can also be used to expand the malleable band. Furthermore, a hand tool having a ratchet and lever mechanism for expanding the malleable ring can be used. Any tool producing an outward radial force on the band can be used to practice the invention.
Various modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. Such modifications and improvements, whether or not they are described herein, may certainly fall within the scope of the following claims.
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|Apr 19, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THERMACO, INC., NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BATTEN, WILLIAM C.;KYLES, BRUCE W.;REEL/FRAME:016523/0778
Effective date: 20050419
|Feb 2, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4